“Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head”

L-R: Andy Coolquitt, CAA CAA, 2017, Bathmat on canvas, 55 x 66 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber. Andy Coolquitt, Modern Hotel Abstraction #1, 2017, Fabric on canvas, 96 x 32 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber.

L-R: Andy Coolquitt, CAA CAA, 2017, Bathmat on canvas, 55 x 66 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber. Andy Coolquitt, Modern Hotel Abstraction #1, 2017, Fabric on canvas, 96 x 32 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber.

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, in partnership with Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, presents Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head, an exhibition featuring a major commission of new works by Andy Coolquitt.

Based in Austin, TX, the artist has generated a body of work that includes paintings, sculptures and video, which he uses to form connections between some of the juxtapositional aspects of a place that is simultaneously private and public, homelike and commercial, an exhibition venue and a hotel.

According to the artist statement, Coolquitt uses the language of geometric abstraction to riff off of Hotel Indigo’s architectural and design elements, incorporating, for example, site-specific hard edge or gestural painting as a tactic to reimagine the lounge, stairwell, or skylight. Other works in the show consist of familiar domiciliary items such as bathmats, chairs, light bulbs, and nylon stockings. The artist elevates the significance of various undervalued ubiquitous objects that enhance our visceral response to interior environments, prompting viewers to consider the dimensions of our attraction to these basic yet undeniably essential things.

The public is invited to an Artist Talk on Wednesday, May 9, from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Santa Barbara City College, Administration Building Room A211, 721 Cliff Dr., Santa Barbara.

Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head is on view at MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara from May 18 through March 7, 2021. The Hotel Indigo is located at 121 State St., Santa Barbara. For more information about the exhibition, visit mcasantabarbara.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on May 8, 2018.

Local Lowdown: Rock N Roll Tequila

Courtesy Rock N Roll Tequila.

Courtesy Rock N Roll Tequila.

The handcrafted glass guitar bottles are eye-catching, but it’s the crisp distinct taste of Rock N Roll’s three premium tequilas that will really knock your socks off.

The company was founded by Santa Barbara local Andy Herbst, an entrepreneur, surfer and soccer player, who came to the U.S. in the 1960s from South Africa and went to Santa Barbara High School and Santa Barbara City College, where he says he majored in surfing. After a successful career as a music promoter, Herbst traveled to the highlands of Mexico, where he was introduced to the smoothest, purest blue agave and soon turned his passion for tequila into creating his own label. His partners in the venture, which launched in 2017, include businessman Scott Woolley and NFL great Dan Marino, who played quarter­back for the Miami Dolphins and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“After tasting Rock N Roll Tequila, I knew it was a quality spirit, and I wanted to be a member of the team,” says Marino. “It is great to be associated with a high-quality prod­uct at a reasonable price, and it doesn’t hurt to have an iconic name like Rock N Roll!”

Amped Mojito with Cristalino, courtesy Rock N Roll Tequila.

Amped Mojito with Cristalino, courtesy Rock N Roll Tequila.

Crafted by Master Distiller Jose Aceves, a third-generation tequila producer, Rock N Roll’s 100% pure blue agave comes from deep in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The bottles, which feature a unique patented top known as the “roadie,” provide the consumer a complimentary two shots of Platinum Te­quila that come in three varieties:

Platinum: Hand crafted, triple distilled, made with 100% pure highlands blue agave, giving it a delicious, smooth taste.

Mango: Double distilled with 100% pure highlands blue agave and the highest-quality natural mango flavor, giving it sweet citrus notes and a super smooth finish.

Cristalino: This Añejo Tequila is barrel-aged for two–three years and filtered to perfection, making it cleaner and healthier. Cristalino is also made with 100% pure highlands blue agave, featuring classic notes of French oak and vanilla.

At press time, Rock N Roll Tequila is served in Santa Barbara at Viva Modern Mexican (1114 State St., 805/965-4770), Foxtail Kitchen & Bar (14 E. Cota St., 805/845-6226) and O’Malley’s (523 State St., 805/564-8904) and sold at Santa Barbara Liquor and Crafts (501 Anacapa St., 805/966-6716), as well as additional venues throughout the Central Coast.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit rocknrolltequila.com.

Rock N Roll Recipes:


Leslie Dinaberg

This story was originally published in the spring 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

Wine Cask Hosts Fundraising Dinner for SBCC Culinary Arts Students

A Santa Barbara City College Culinary Student Chopping in Kitchen, courtesy photo.

A Santa Barbara City College Culinary Student Chopping in Kitchen, courtesy photo.

Here’s a great way to support future chefs while enjoying a delicious meal, Wine Cask hosts a fundraising dinner on Monday, April 11 at 6 p.m. to benefit Santa Barbara City College Culinary Arts students. Proceeds from the evening will provide an opportunity for students to travel to Madrid, Spain this summer with the SBCC Study Abroad program.

While in Spain, students will explore the cuisine and culture of Spain and Portugal, going to neighborhood markets, tasting artisanal chocolate confections, observing butchers, bakers, and sausage makers, and visiting wineries, olive oil mills, and farms.

“Being creative in the kitchen is more than being technically talented,” says School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management Department Chair Randy Bublitz. “The experience of visiting other countries and delving into their cuisines is invaluable for laying the groundwork in developing a chef’s creativity.”

“Study abroad is not only an incredible experience that opens eyes and doors but a bona fide learning experience,” says Wine Cask Co-Owner Mitchell Sjerven. “This is especially true in the field of culinary arts, as chefs are constantly challenged to understand regional cuisines, keep up on global food trends, and learn new techniques. Going to Spain and Portugal will provide an incredible opportunity for students to expand their knowledge base while undoubtedly gaining much appreciated creative inspiration during their time on the Iberian Peninsula.”

With many students facing educational expenses such as tuition and materials, financing a study abroad trip may be beyond reach. Guests attending the fundraising dinner will provide great assistance to much deserving SBCC students who otherwise would not be able to afford this once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Santa Barbara restaurants in particular enjoy the immediate rewards of SBCC culinary arts graduates,” says Sjerven. “But, really, the entire community benefits from this successful program provided by one of the top community colleges in the nation.”

Support future chefs, and enjoy a multi-course dinner in the Gold Room of Wine Cask (813 Anacapa St.). The meal will be prepared by SBCC faculty chefs, SBCC culinary students, and Wine Cask Chef David Rosner.

The SBCC Foundation will be taking reservations for the event. To purchase tickets ($150 per person), please call 805/730-4401 or click here.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on March 30, 2016.

Arthritis Foundation’s 33rd Annual Taste of the Town

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation's Taste of the Town

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation’s Taste of the Town

We got a preview last week of what’s in store for the 33rd annual Santa Barbara Taste of the Town, and there’s a lot to be excited about for this signature culinary event benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.

Taking place on Sunday, Sept. 7 at the picturesque Riviera Park Gardens, 2030 Alameda Padre Serra,  from noon-3 p.m., the fundraiser is expected to attract more than  1,000 guests for an afternoon of wine tasting and delicious nibbles presented from many of Santa Barbara’s finest restaurants and wineries.

Mingle and support a good cause over live entertainment overlooking the beautiful city below.

Opal Restaurant & Bar co-owners Tina Takaya and Richard Yates are co-chairs for the event. Some of the participating restaurants include: Aldo’s Italian Restaurant, Blue Tavern, Ca’ Dario, Fresco Café & Bakery, Il Fustino, Los Agaves, Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant, Louie’s California Bistro, Michael’s Catering, New West Catering/Industrial Eats, Olivos del Mar, Opal Restaurant & Bar, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Santa Barbara City College, The Chase Restaurant, The Faculty Club, The Palace Grill and Via Maestra 42, among others.

Wine, beer and beverages will be provide by: Adelaida, Alexander & Wayne/Arthur Earl, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards (winemaker Richard Sanford is a special honoree), Au Bon Climat, Babcock Vineyards, Brander Vineyard, Brewer-Clifton, Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Carr Vineyards & Winery, Consilience Winery/Tre Anelli, Daniel Gehrs Wines, Falcone Family Vineyards, Fess Parker Winery, Fiddlehead Cellars, Figueroa Mountain Brewery, Foxen, Giessinger Winery, Grassini, Island Brewing Company, Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Ken Brown Wines, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Lafond Winery and Vineyards, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards/Toccata Wines, Margerum Wine CompanyMelville Vineyards & Winery, Mosby Winery, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Qupe, Sanford WinerySanta Barbara Winery, Scott Cellars, Silver Wines, Sort This Out Cellars, Starlane & Dierberg Vineyards/Three Saints, Sunstone Vineyards, Tolosa, Whitcraft Winery, William James Cellars and Zaca Mesa, among others.

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation's Taste of the Town

Photo courtesy Arthritis Foundation’s Taste of the Town

Kendall Viera, a 13-year-old middle school student from Santa Ynez has been named this year’s Youth Honoree. She was diagnosed at the age of 6 with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) and is currently in remission, thanks to medical advances. To see a video of Viera talking about why she supports the Arthritis Foundation click here.

Dr. Timothy Spiegel has been named the event’s Medical Honoree. Hel is a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist) in Santa Barbara that has been diagnosing and treating patients for almost 40 years. 

All proceeds from Taste of the Town support local programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation. The foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of 53 million people (including nearly 300,000 children) with arthritis through research and local programs of education, advocacy and juvenile arthritis support.

Taste of the Town tickets purchased in advance are $125 per person; tickets at the door will be $140, if available, and corporate group discounts are also available. Tickets are limited, so early reservations are encouraged. For tickets and information call 805/463-4685 or visit tasteofthetownsantabarbara.org.

Sponsors and their guests will also enjoy the exclusive Connoisseurs’ Circle, co-chaired by Jennifer Jaqua and Jacques Habra. Celebrating its fifth year, this unique VIP experience will feature a progressive tasting menu designed and prepared by a visiting chef of distinction at Belmond El Encanto on Friday, Sept. 5, along with a live auction. Taste of the Town sponsorship opportunities are still available by contacting Asher Garfinkel at 805/563-4685.

–Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on July 31, 2014.

Entangled Grid: Ann Diener at Atkinson Gallery


From "Entangled Grid: Ann Diener" (courtesy photo)

From “Entangled Grid: Ann Diener” (courtesy photo)

Santa Barbara City College‘s (SBCC’s) Atkinson Gallery is back in the newly renovated Humanities Building with a new exhibition, Entangled Grid: Drawings by Ann Diener. She created these recent drawings by overlaying images of the city of Los Angeles as it now exists onto the historical blueprint, thus recording spaces from different time periods and a cacophony of architecture as diverse as its population.

In addition to her large works on paper, the show will feature a massive wall drawing that Diener will complete onsite with a team of SBCC student volunteers.

Diener received her BA from UCLA and her MFA from UCSB. Her one-person exhibitions include Bank Gallery, Los Angeles, the Art, Design and Architecture Museum at UCSB, Electric Works Gallery San Francisco and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (now the Museum of Contemporary Art). She was a resident artist at the American Academy in Rome, Italy and at Kaus Australis in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The opening reception for the exhibit is January 31 from 5–7 p.m. There will also be a free artist lecture on February 5 at 4:30 p.m. The work will be on view through February 28, but please note the gallery is closed February 14-17 for President’s Day weekend.

ATKINSON GALLERY  is located in the Art Department at SBCC,  Humanities Building Room 202, East Campus, 721 Cliff Dr.

Originally published on January 27, 2014 in Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.

Bea Hamlin: Teaching a lifetime of learning

Courtesy photo.

Picture a career full of hugs, finger paint and playing dress-up. Then imagine the rewards of teaching high school students about the wonders of child development. Finally, visualize the privilege of being able to educate adults to be better parents.

As director of the San Marcos Parent-Child Workshop, Bea Hamlin has had the multiple pleasures of that job since 1969.

Hamlin, who will retire at the end of the school year, recently reflected on her years at the cooperative preschool, the only one of its kind to serve as a working laboratory for high school students studying child development.

“It’s not a job for sissies,” laughed Hamlin, who started with the program in 1967 as a parent, with her daughter, Julia, attending the preschool.

One of the most rewarding things has been watching her students grow up.

“It’s amazing. People end up in all kind of fields and in sports,” she said, citing Dos Pueblos swimmers Rachel Rys and Michael Bowen and coach Danelle Little, all of whom she taught in preschool.

The co-op parents have also stayed active.

“They have been … the yeast for lots of good things in the community,” she said.

“If they’re that involved, then they’re probably going to be involved for a long time.”

Co-op parents — who are enrolled in a Wednesday night adult education class that Hamlin teaches at Santa Barbara City College, and also teach at the preschool one day a week — are known as great volunteers in the community.

“We train them early,” she said.

And she must have trained them well. Former parents, preschoolers and high schoolers alike had nothing but praise for “Teacher Bea,” as she’s known on campus.

“Teacher Bea encourages us all to grow and learn, to spread our wings and dance, fly, wander, stop here, investigate there and thoroughly love this process of life with small butterflies,” was one of the tributes honoring Hamlin at a recent school fund-raiser.

“Bea Hamlin is so delightful personally — a warm and wonderful woman who has dedicated herself to helping parents understand, appreciate and raise their children within a happy family to become self-fulfilled and confident adults,” said Anne Cameron, SBCC director of educational programs, and Hamlin’s supervisor.

“I simply adore her.”

Lea Blackburn, director of SBCC’s Kinko’s Early Learning Center, will become the new San Marcos director in the fall, Cameron said.

Q&A with Bea Hamlin

What was the hardest lesson YOU’VE HAD TO learn? Trial by fire when I first started. I had just come from being a parent in the group and assumed the directorship, and I think that having people’s impression of me changing from parent to teacher was very difficult.

NAME one crazy moment: The day someone brought a goat for show-and-tell. We had two baby goats, and I didn’t realize they were going to eat everything in sight. … I can still see that — the day the goats visited.

What would the title of your autobiography be? Are We There Yet?

RECALL one treasured memory: The way all the parents supported me after my house burned down in the Painted Cave Fire … It was such an amazing thing.

NAME three of your heroes: Marion Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund, Mr. Rogers … for his gentle ways, and Yo Yo Ma.

Originally published in South Coast Beacon on March 30, 2005.

Trish Dupart was one of City College’s Strongest Supporters

One of the sunniest smiles on the Santa Barbara City College campus faded away recently, when Trish Dupart passed away on May 11, from an extremely rapid form of acute monoblastic leukemia.

Dupart had recently retired after 30 years of dedicated service to the school and attended the Board of Trustees & President’s Retiree Recognition Reception just a few days before her death. “She delighted everyone with her charm and wit and proudly showed off her new state-of-the-art prosthetic leg (due to diabetes complications). It was typical of Trish to face life’s challenges with humility and humor,” said SBCC President John Romo.

She began working at SBCC in the library in the early 1970s after her husband, J.P., took a job here as a groundskeeper. In the early 80s she moved over to the Learning Center in the Humanities Building. When the Learning Resource Center was built in the late 80s, she was made a supervisor, a position she held until she retired in December.

Dupart was president of the local chapter of the California School Employees Association for a number of years. She also served as President of the Association of California College Tutorial and Learning Assistance and as the regional representative for the California Reading and Learning Association.

“Trish took a personal interest in the lives of students, staff and faculty. Her work in the Cartwright Learning Resource Center was not just a job, it was a calling,” said Jerry Pike, Assistant Professor and Director of the Learning Assistance Center. “Trish lent a familial presence, remembering the details of students’ lives and encouraging or admonishing them as the situation warranted.”

Dupart was particularly supportive of the school’s athletic teams. For many years she volunteered her time at basketball tournaments and she would also invite teams over for barbecues at her house.

“She had a special interest and a special passion for the student-athletes, helping them succeed academically and making sure they got a good meal now and then,” said Marsha Wright, Director of EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services) and a close friend.

“Trish’s passing is a tremendous loss to the college and to everyone who knew her. She will be greatly missed,” said Romo.

Dupart is survived by her husband of 38 years, J.P., daughter, Danielle and grandchildren, Alyssa and T.J.

An informal gathering of remembrance was held at the college last week. There will be no funeral service.

The family is requesting no flowers. Those who wish may send donations to either Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, 2219 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105; The Endowment for Youth Committee, 1136 Montecito Street, Suite 2, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 or a favorite charity.

Originally published in South Coast Beacon on May 20, 2004.